Bike Route II
The moon rose majestically into the verdant spring sky. Her lumens cast light upon the gathering lunatistas as they prepared for an epic adventure. Lindsey had announced earlier in the week that he had a prior wine tasting commitment and would be unable to attend. But in the end he worked magic and despite a felony blood alcohol count he threw in his lot with the group of ten who would create fantastic adventure and see the night world as no others.
Mike and Shawn contemplate the route
The plan would be the repeat of a previous ride. There would be a long car shuffle, several infractions and L-Factor that would take the riders to the deepest folds of the undulating Maacama Mtns. Ten riders appeared at the shop. Michel quickly changed his plans for the weekend and arrived from Berkeley. Cirrus motored from Davis. Morgan and rookie Mike capped an intense day of snowboarding by traveling straight from Alpine Meadows to the event, four hours of driving. Jim Korte, Mike, Lucy, Eric and Shawn made up the ten volunteers for the evening of high adventure, gourmet dining and benediction from the Lady of the Night. The bikers would be accompanied by two canine lunatistas, Azul and Belle.
Eric and Lucy took a short ride around town to get prepared for the ride. Finally everyone had arrived and four cars headed towards the mountains. After a lengthy drive into the hills, two of the cars arrived at the starting point. Seven riders emerged from the space van and three others from rookie Mikes truck. Twenty wheels began the evening with an exiting hum down two hundred yards of pavement. Then the crew turned off the pavement and onto the saddle of the ridge. They would attempt to stay on the spine of the mountain for the entire ride.
The Huffy nestles among the Santa Cruz set
Despite having climbed at least a thousand feet in the car, the first part of the ride contained more climbing. Lindsey would put out more effort than anyone in motivating the Huffy over the steep terrain. Within the first quarter mile, there was a split in the road. Several lunatistas took the level road while the others opted for the climb even though the road was barely apparent. The two groups diverged for a period of time until it was obvious that one was wrong. Those bikers, including the Huffmeister, had to boonie thrash uphill to the waiting riders.
The tall hills ahead needed to be climbed before reaching the Great Saddle. This is where the road stops and boondocks begin. This was the unknown area of doubt on the first ride. Ahead the riders could see the towers of the power lines. They had to get to the set of towers that stood over the large pass. Several towers appeared to be the last, only to have more uphill terrain appear. When it seemed that the last tower had been reached, the road continued past. There was discussion about following the road. One camp thought it was time to simply go into the brush. Another contingent followed the road, thinking it would veer in the wrong direction at some point. To the amazement of the Lunatistas, the road continued in the correct direction and delivered the riders to the next set of towers. More climbing followed.
Azul enjoying the night
Finally the riders climbed a very steep, winding pitch and arrived at the last set of towers before the Great Saddle. Now it was obvious what had to be done. The route was not completely obvious. There was discussion about transversing some areas of grassy hills. But the prevailing notion was to try to duplicate the original passage down through the road-less buck brush. The vegetation had grown since the last excursion and the passage looked to be very difficult. However, as the group fanned out into the bush, a reasonable path was found by most. Many of the riders had to struggle through chest high bushes, holding the bikes overhead. Lindsey stood in the night like the Colossus holding the weighty Huffy. Eventually he would discover that the weight of the bike would assist in simply riding through the thick brush.
Lucy navigates the brush
The boonie thrash section lasted a short time. All of the riders came into more open areas and shortly to the road on the other side. At that point it seemed that most of the navigation was done. It should be an easy ride from this point, it was thought. The group spontaneously decided that this point was an excellent spot for dinner. It was protected from the wind and there was ample firewood available. It took a short period of time to get a fire blazing. The usual assortment of gourmet food appeared. Shawn produced cheese and crackers, Michel had potato chips for appetizers. Friendly banter and laughter filled the beautiful moon lit night. The crew had successfully contacted the pleasure zone associated with La Luna. The surrounding landscape was awesomely beautiful in the soft light of the night.
Belle keeping watch on the pack
The riders set out again after the meal was completed. The first part of the route was on the opposing side of the Great Saddle. The uphill trek became steep. The road was in great shape, appearing to have been dozed recently. There was a split in the road near the top. The most obvious road was taken. The well maintained road continued steeply uphill then began an ominous turn towards the wrong valley. For several hundred yards the riders cautiously proceeded. Soon, however, it was obvious that the road was going in the wrong direction. A 180 degree turn was executed and the group descended back to the turn. Progress continued once established on this route. The undulating terrain passed more quickly as the downhill sections became more prevalent. The sight of ten bikers in the night streaking across the hillsides was thrilling.
The riders covered miles quickly. Soon a gate appeared on the left and buildings appeared ahead. It was remembered that the riders had climbed that gate on the previous ride. Accordingly the ten people climbed the unlocked gate and proceeded a short direction before it was remembered that this was a mistake. Several of the riders climbed the gate again before it was opened. As the terrain began to yield, there was one point that seemed to beg for a turn. It appeared and the riders took the lesser road off of the main drag. However it didnt last long. It dead-ended at a tower. Across the landscape the next tower could be seen. It didnt seem very far away. A discussion ensued as to how to proceed. One camp suggested going back uphill. Eric insisted that a simple romp across the apparently smooth ground would easily get the group to the next hill.
Michel proves he is a gluton for punishment
There was a group of cows lingering in the meadow. One was on the bikers side of the fence. These cows had to be wondering what the heck was going on. The group of cows slowly began to retreat leaving the solo cow stranded. It grew more nervous as the group approached and finally darted towards the fence. Defying gravity it bounded over the fence and joined its bovine buddies in an orderly retreat. The lunatistas climbed the fence and began to head down the smooth, grassy hillside. It seemed only a few seconds to the uphill part toward the next tower. It was not to be. Rather than beginning a climb, the terrain drop precipitously into steep, deep ravine. The bottom was not visible. There was little inclination to retrace steps uphill. The mass energy was to continue and process the minor glitch. The opposing hill could be seen not very far away, yet the hill was so steep it would take a major effort to descend. The footing was loose and the vegetation impeded progress. At one point Linz slid under some tree roots and became temporarily lodged, unable to wrestle the Huffy free. Eventually water was heard running below. The bottom was finally accessed and the steep climb back out of the crease began. The earth was soft and duffy. It made for decent footing, though a slip would cost great energy and struggle.
Lindsey trapped in the forest
After expending a massive amount of effort the bikers eventually arrived at the top of the hill. The road reappeared and progress began again. The riders shredded downhill to the next point of confusion. In the distance tail lights of a car were seen. The road was not far away. It was time to depart the dirt road and begin a direct path towards the end point of the ride. The group split slightly. It took only a few minutes to get to the highway. Only Mike managed to end up at the proper place, the others joining him quickly.
Cirrus crosses the creek
While seven lunatistas communed with the spirit of the night, Eric, rookie Mike and Cirrus began the hour long car retrieve. It was nearly two in the morning as the adventure began to wind down. It was close to three oclock in the morning when all of the riders returned to the shop, with the exception of rookie Mike and Morgan. They stopped at the Shell station, pounded coffee and continued to drive for another hour and a half back to Davis. Their day was an epic 20 straight hours of high adventure.
The ride was rejuvenating, refreshing and great fun. It lasted many hours putting it in the realm of an epic outing. The mission was successful. It would reestablish the glory of the full moon and it was a sign that the bikers still ride free and unconstrained by standard conventions.
La Luna shines bright in the spirit of the Bikin' Fools